Hyundai Motorsport have revealed their 2017 WRC challenger, the Hyundai i20 WRC at the Monza circuit in Italy. It is the first of the four new revised and radicalized cars for the 2017 world rally championship. Toyota, Ford M-Sport and Citroen are also expected to unveil their cars in coming days.
The 2017 Hyundai i20 WRC takes a huge leap forward from the previous i20 WRC used in the 2016 season. Largely due to revised rules that usher in a new era in world rally. Cars will have a more aggressive body and power increases from 300bhp to 380bhp. Compared to the previous car, the 2017 Hyundai i20 WRC is also lighter and faster. Judging from the test videos, the sound has also improved significantly.
— Karanja Earl Simmons (@Earlsimxx) November 29, 2016
The new era is the product of a reworked set of rules that aim at bringing back the fame of WRC to the masses, popularizing the rallying sport like it once was during the Group B days. As such, the cars will not only be faster but also appealing thanks to the increased aero aids. Hyundai will field three cars for the 2017 season, and their driver lineup remains unchanged. Dani Sordo, Hayden Paddon and Thierry Neuville will return to the cockpits assisted by their usual co-drivers Nicolas, John and Marc.
2017 will also mark the introduction of a new category, the Trophy class for private teams and drivers using the older cars. As you would expect, the new cars come at a high cost that only manufacturers can handle, therefore, private teams will be exempted from this costly upgrade and will thus compete in a class of their own using the 2016 cars.
With VW out of WRC, their drivers Sebastien Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen are yet to identify a team out of the four manufacturers for the forthcoming season. Ogier has already tested with Toyota and Hyundai and is expected to make a decision soon. Citroen denied the world champion a chance in their car, saying he would need to sign a deal with them first before testing it.